Borderlands: Europe and the Mediterranean Middle East

ISBN : 9780198833550

Raffaella A. Del Sarto
176 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Jun 2021
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Borderlands in Europe and the Mediterranean Middle East proposes a profound rethink of the complex relationship between Europe-defined here as the European Union and its members-and the states of the Mediterranean Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Europe's 'southern neighbours'. These relations are examined through a borderlands prism that conceives of this interaction as of one between an empire of sorts, which seeks to export its order beyond the border, and the empire's southern borderlands. Focusing on trade relations on the one hand, and the cooperation on migration, borders, and security on the other, the book revisits the historical origins and modalities of Europe's selective rule transfer to MENA states, the interests underwriting these policies, and the complex dynamics marking the interaction between the two sides over a twenty-year period (1995-2015). It shows that within a system of structurally asymmetric economic relations from which Europe and MENA elites benefit the most, single MENA governments have been co-opted into the management of border and migration control where they act as Europe's gatekeepers. Combined with specific policy choices of MENA governments, Europe's selective expansion of its rules, practices, and disaggregated borders have in fact contributed to rising socio-economic inequalities and the strengthening of authoritarian rule in the 'southern neighbourhood', with Europe tacitly tolerating serious violations of the rights of refugees and migrants at its fringes. Challenging the self-proclaimed benevolent nature of European policies and the notion of 'Fortress Europe' alike, the findings of this study contribute to broader debates on power, dependence, and interdependence in the discipline of International Relations.


1 Introduction
2 Conceptualizing relations between Europe and the Mediterranean Middle East
3 From European colonial enterprise to 'normative empire Europe'
4 Exporting the European order beyond the border
5 Restructuring the socio-economic and political order in the Mediterranean Middle East
6 Contestation, leverage and interdependence
7 Conclusions and outlook

About the author: 

Raffaella A. Del Sarto is Associate Professor of Middle East Studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, SAIS Europe. Her areas of expertise include the international relations of the Middle East and North Africa-particularly in relation to Europe, the domestic-foreign policy nexus, questions of borders, power and interdependence, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and Israel's foreign and domestic policies. She is the author of Israel under Siege: The Politics of Insecurity and the Rise of the Israeli Neo-Revisionist Right (Georgetown University Press, 2017) and Contested State Identities and Regional Security in the Euro-Mediterranean Area (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006), and the editor of Fragmented Borders, Interdependence and External Relations: The Israel-Palestine-European Union Triangle (Palgrave Macmillan 2015). Her articles have appeared in International Affairs, The Middle East Journal, Journal of Common Market Studies, Democratization, amongst others.

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